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English Bible Dictionary

Sandal

 

Was the article ordinarily used by the Hebrews for protecting the feet. It consisted simply of a sole attached to the foot by thongs. We have express notice of the thong (Authorized Version "shoe latchet") in several passages, notably (Genesis 14:23; Isaiah 5:27; Mark 1:7) Sandals were worn by all classes of society in Palestine, even by the very poor; and both the sandal and the thong or shoe-latchet were so cheap and common that they passed into a proverb for the most insignificant thing. (Genesis 14:23) Ecclus. 46;13, They were dispensed with in-doors, and were only put on by persons about to undertake some business away from their homes, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. During mealtimes the feet were uncovered. (Luke 7:38; John 13:5,6) It was a mark of reverence to cast off the shoes in approaching a place or person of eminent sanctity. (Exodus 3:5; Joshua 5:15) It was also an indication of violent emotion, or of mourning, if a person appeared barefoot in public. (2 Samuel 15:30) To carry or to unloose a person's sandal was a menial office, betokening great inferiority on the part of the person performing it. (Matthew 3:11)

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